Garlic bread: variations and alternatives

The first time I’ve tried garlic bread it wasn’t actually at my Grandma’s. In fact the person who introduced me to the tastiest garlic bread I’ve ever had is Mrs. Frances from Buffalo New York.

I don’t know if you’ve read a little about her story, so I’m going to shortly introduce Mrs. Frances to you.

[Mrs. Frances story and recipes are included in my new Book:
“Discovering Italy. Mediterranean cooking and lifestyle. Recipes and stories from Tuscany and more”
To See the Book>>> Click Here]

… It was in the late nineties when from my small town in Tuscany I flew to the USA and spent a year in Buffalo NY with Mrs. Frances and her family. We had an awesome time together and most of all we enjoyed trying different recipes from both our cultures so we would plan theme parties and dinners filled with delicious Italian or American recipes and sometimes both.

One night I was about to make my special chicken recipe (which I will tell you about in more details later on in this post) and she suggested that we made garlic bread to go with it.

When I went back to Tuscany I made garlic bread for my Grandma and she loved it although she still prefers her own version.

But let’s get back to party night…It was me, Mrs. Frances, her husband Leo, her son Anthony and various guests who were going to come over: friends, coworkers and neighbors.

Mrs. Frances and I went grocery shopping the night before the party, we started cooking in the morning just like my Italian Grandma would have done: “start cooking early so that everything is ready on time and…there’s time left to make a little extra”!

So the main course was going to be my special chicken recipe. As an appetizer we were going to make my special baked dried prunes with bacon (yes, don’t worry I’ll reveal the recipe to you before the end of this article!). Then she suggested garlic bread (different variation and alternatives) and as dessert all American chocolate chips cookies and peanut butter blossoms.

Let’s start with garlic bread which is the star of this blog post after all!

garlic bread

  • Garlic Bread – French Bread

Mrs. Frances opted for some kind of French bread and dried garlic that night.

She would cut the loaf in rounds but just half way through. Each slice about 2 inches thick.

In between each slice she’d insert a small flake of butter and sprinkle some dried garlic.

She would then spread more butter on top of the bread loaf and sprinkle more garlic on top as well.

Wrap the loaf in aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven at 425°F. for about 15 minutes.

If you try this recipe, make sure to check the garlic bread so that it doesn’t get burn, it’s supposed to be fragrant and golden brown, not too dark!

If you want to make garlic bread with these ingredients: dried garlic and butter, you could also use bread rolls instead of a loaf.

  • Garlic Bread – Bread Rolls

To make this version of garlic bread I suggest you to simply spread butter on top of each roll, sprinkle with dried garlic and wrap each roll with aluminum foil. Again, bake in preheated oven at 425°F. for about 10/15 minutes.

There are other ingredients that you can choose to make your favorite version of garlic bread.

As I mentioned earlier my Grandma prefers her version which, instead of butter, is made with all Italian extra virgin olive oil.
(But not just some common extra virgin olive oil though! To her, like many other Italian Grandmas, extra virgin olive oil is sacred! So she uses her special extra virgin Tuscan olive oil from her cousin’s Farm)!

Check out Grandma’s fun stories at the Farm on my book:
“Discovering Italy. Mediterranean cooking and lifestyle. Recipes and stories from Tuscany and more”
To See the Book>>> Click Here

My Grandma chooses Tuscan Ciabatta Bread to make her own version of garlic bread.

  • Garlic Bread – Grandma’s version

Simply slice your Ciabatta bread or Tuscan Bread which is different than regular bread because it has less salt.

At this point I have to tell you that Tuscan cuisine is very tasty so that’s the reason why bread in this region is made with less salt because it’s served with recipes and dishes that are very savory.

Bake bread slices in preheated oven at 425°F. for about 10 minutes.

Take out the bread slices and let them cool just a couple of minutes.

Rub some fresh garlic clove on top of each slice, sprinkle with rosemary (dried or fresh, if it’s fresh make sure it’s minced). Pour a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top and serve.

So as you can see you can make garlic bread with butter or extra virgin olive oil, fresh or dried garlic, bread loaf or bread rolls.

Another variations is: garlic bread with tomatoes and oregano.

garlic bread

To make this version simply follow “Grandma’s version” recipe and replace rosemary with tomatoes and oregano.

You can also make garlic bread with cheese. Her is how I like it:

  • Garlic bread with cheese

Slice your bread loaf.

Bake bread slices in preheated oven at 425°F. for about 3 minutes.

Take out bread slices and let them cool just a couple of minutes.

Rub some fresh garlic clove on top of each slice.

Lay your favorite choice of cheese on top of each bread slice.

I like to use Fontina cheese or Provolone for this recipe.

Pour a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.

Bake bread slices again at 425°F. for about 5 minutes, until cheese is melted all the way.

garlic bread

So these were my favorite five versions of garlic bread. Don’t forget to share your best garlic bread recipe. I’d love to try it!

But, wait! As I promised here are some other recipes for you.

These are the recipes that Mrs. Frances and I prepared for that dinner party I told you about at the beginning and, it’s where the whole garlic bread thing started 🙂

I hope you will enjoy them, these are really some of my favorite recipes!

  • Chicken with dried prunes and spices

Ingredients:

chicken thighs (skinless)
dried prunes
1 garlic clove
cinnamon stick (small)
1 small piece orange peel
few juniper berries
few nuts
1/2 glass Italian wine
4/5 glasses warm water or stock
salt
extra virgin olive oil

Procedure:

Place chicken thighs in a wok pan or a large pan.

Add dried prunes, 1 garlic clove, 1 small cinnamon stick, 1 small piece orange peel, few juniper berries and few nuts.

Add salt and pour a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top.

Turn on the heat on medium. Let chicken cook for about 8 minutes on both sides.

When the outside of the chicken looks golden, add 1/2 glass of white wine and turn on high heat so that the wine reduces completely.

When wine is completely reduced add warm water or stock and let cook for about 50/60 minutes.

When all water is reduce and chicken is thoroughly cooked you can then serve it and enjoy it with some fragrant garlic bread!

  • Dried prunes and bacon appetizer

This is really easy and simple yet delicious as an appetizer, especially if you serve it with a glass of Pinot Grigio!

Ingredients:

dried prunes
thin slices of bacon
wooden toothpicks

Procedure:

Simply wrap a slice of bacon around each dried prune (make sure it doesn’t have the stone)!

Close and seal with a toothpick and lay the prunes on a baking tin.

Bake in preheated oven at 425°F. for about 10/13 minutes until all the grease from the bacon is melted so that you have crispy and delicious dried baked prunes!

garlic bread and appetizer

  • All American chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter
1-1/4 cups brown sugar
2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 egg
1-3/4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts

Procedure

Heat oven at 375°F.

Combine room temperature butter, brown sugar, egg, milk and vanilla.

Mix well until you obtain a creamy mixture.

Add flour, salt and baking soda and mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon until all ingredients become the classic, delicious and famous cookie dough!

Finally add chocolate chips and nuts and gently stir them in the dough.

Cover a baking tray with a baking sheet and use a tsp. to drop some dough and form the cookies.

Usually you can bake three rows of four cookies each but make sure they are well separated otherwise they’ll stick to one another as they flatten in the oven.

Bake for about 8/10 minutes.

  • All American peanut butter cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
1-1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 egg
1/3-4 cup flour
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
diced chocolate (dark or milk whichever you prefer)

Procedure:

Heat oven at 375°F.

Combine room temperature butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, egg, milk and vanilla.

Mix well until you obtain a creamy mixture.

Add flour, salt and baking soda and mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon until all ingredients become the classic, delicious and famous cookie dough!

Cover a baking tray with a baking sheet and use a tsp. to drop some dough and form the cookies.

Usually you can bake three rows of four cookies each but make sure they are well separated otherwise they’ll stick to one another as they flatten in the oven.

Bake for about 6/7 minutes then take them out of the oven and lay a square of chocolate on top of each cookie and bake again for about 2/3 minutes.

The chocolate dice on top should not melt but just soften a little so that it attaches to the cookie.

These are simply delicious, enjoy them!

  • Bottom line

I hope you’ve enjoyed the recipes and the anecdotes I shared with you today about my Grandma and Mrs. Frances, two of my favorite person ever. I mean really, they rock my world!

So besides the five different versions of garlic bread you can go ahead and throw a party just like Mrs. Frances and I did and try the cookies, the chicken with prunes and spices and the appetizer!

Make sure you don’t miss all Grandma’s special recipes and other delicious treats from italianstylerecipe.net

Thank you for visiting and remember to share on you favorite social if you’d like!